The Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

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Blackstrap Molasses is a syrupy sweetener that can be bought pretty cheaply these days. Thankfully it is very different to other sweeteners which are highly refined, processed and stripped of all their nutrients (Glucose Syrup, White Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup etc….). I am a big believer in getting our vitamins and minerals from real food – For me a small amount of real food nutrients are far better utilised by the body than any synthetic vitamin could ever be.

Now I know a lot of people will think this post is basically touting sugar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As blackstrap molasses is totally different from other types of sweet foods or sugars and works as a very healthy sweetener for tea, coffee, oatmeal and many other dishes.

Our society is so chemical laden that we are leeching the minerals that we need from our systems. Blackstrap puts back some of those minerals naturally.

This is because Blackstrap Molasses is one of the most nutrient dense foods around – full of vitamins and minerals containing the following:

  • Iron
  • Calcium (more calcium than dairy)
  • Magnesium
  • Mangenese, Chromium, Molybdenum, and many other trace minerals.
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin E

The high and bio-available source of Iron makes it a great addition to females diets as well as growing children – To put it in perspective Molasses has more iron than red meat. It is also rich in calcium which makes people think of dairy or green vegetables as the only source. We forget how important calcium is for metabolism, muscle contractions and correct cell function. 2 TSP’s of blackstrap molasses will provide you with a large proportion of your daily needs of many of these vitamins and minerals, most importantly though they come in a form that our bodies are familiar with and can make use of.

What Kind and Why?

You want to look for unsulphured and preferably organic blackstrap molasses, this means it will be free from nasty chemicals used in processing and ultimately leads to a purer product. Store it in a cool and dark cupboard and once opened it will last for around 6 months.

The reason for writing this post is firstly to show that all sugar is not bad. More likely it is the refined and processed sugars that have been stripped of their nutrients, remember that fruit is essentially just sugar but it is socially acceptable – why? because it has nutrients and fibre, this allows our bodies to understand what is going on and process these foods correctly. Since adding Blackstrap Molasses to my diet and not even in high amounts (1-2TSP’s per day) I have noted some really good results ranging from improved mood to better blood sugar balancing and a feeling of warmth or increased core temperature. This to me means it is doing something good and nourishing my body.

It is really nice added to coffee or tea as it gives them a somewhat fudge like but not overly sweet flavour, the same goes for drizzling over cooked oats or baked apple’s and yoghurt. I am not suggesting we eat boat loads of the stuff but it can definitely be a very healthy addition to your diet and works better in restoring energy and promoting recovery than a multi-vitamin. Giving growing children or people working & training hard in everyday life an extra nutrient hit.

Most people who train will find that after hard sessions at the gym they will often have sugar cravings – I know that I really enjoy fruit or coconut water after a good workout. It seems that sugar especially in its nutrient dense forms has a good effect at relaxing the adrenal glands which will have been working overtime during exercise – this in turn lowers stress and encourages rebuilding/relaxation.

A bit of a carry on to the last post on why we crave salt - there seems that there could be reason we crave sugar……. Until things are figured out there seems to be no harm in eating fruits, vegetables, and unrefined sugar like blackstrap molasses in moderation. You never know there may even be benefits…..


  1. Tom says

    How does sorghum compare, I ask because it has a similar flavor and we can get it locally quite cheap.

    @ Tom: I am guessing you are talking about Sorghum Syrup? it seems to be very simular to blackstrap molasses but not quite as nutrient dense and classified simply as Molasses. If it is fresh and local I see no reason in not using it as it is essentially them same product….

  2. David says

    Chris – I am assuming the iron in blackstrap molasses is non-heme iron, just like in all other plants, which is absorbed at only about 1/7th the rate of heme iron, which is found in animal sources. It may be an iron source, but I doubt it is a better iron source than red meat.

    @ David: This is true but it seems the non heme iron in nutrient rich foods seems to be absorbed better than we think. The synergistic effect with other nutrients seems to increase our uptake making it rival heme iron. This is not to say it should be our only source, and luckily our bodies store iron so it can work in a way to build things up slowly (1tbsp per day for instance) rather than try and megadose iron every now and then through eating liver or red meat. Have a read of this link…..

  3. Ivana says

    I make bran muffins sweetened with blackstrap molasses and raisin puree, which help the muffins stay moist for several days. They satisfy the cupcake craving nicely.

    @ Ivana: Sounds really good…. Would love to get a recipe?

  4. Dan says

    Yes, I agree with you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup Blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. In addition it is really a good source to increase our body Iron and calcium levels

  5. Bridget says

    Wow – I want to try this stuff! I suffer terribly from sugar cravings, especially when I get tired. I am going to try a couple of teaspoons of blackstrap mollasses, if I can find somewhere to buy it…

  6. Marc says

    Chris, be careful with this one. If you think this is an “ok sweetner”, try doing a little blood glucose test and see what your readings are.
    Just my 2 yen.

    @ Marc: I agree but as part of a mixed meal adding 1tsp of molasses or sugar of any kind is unlikely to have an effect on BG levels – unless someone has a serious problem handling carbohydrates or is eating a zero carb diet. When mixed with protein, fats, and fibre a 20 calorie hit of nutrient dense sugar is like a drop in the ocean, yet still packs a good nutrient punch.

  7. Luke M-Davies says

    Firstly, I like to new look to ZTF! Great work.
    Secondly, thanks for this pointer towards a sweeter healthier alternative. I have known of but not bought molasses myself and now I will definitely give them a go thanks to your detailed guidance!

    I like to use cinammon as a natural and healthy ‘sweetener’ but it of course has a very distinctive taste that alters the flavour of most things, so a ne option is much appreciated!

  8. Karen Moffatt says

    Love the new look of your site. I’ve been following for a while and was pleasantly surprised with the change in layout! Nice post. Love the bit about post workout rebuilding. I’m gonna try adding this to my post-workout smoothies as an alternative to honey!

  9. Lauren @ MRS says

    Ohh, this sounds promising! Question though, if added on coffee and various drinks, does it taste extremely different than what a simple sugar would?

    @ Lauren: Good question, Blackstrap Molasses does have a quite strong flavour but its quite pleasant. Sort of a sweet earthy, liquorice like taste. Give it a try but I find it compliments coffee well.

  10. Patrick says

    There is already way too much iron in the American diet.
    Iron is added to just about everything, Cereal, breads, crackers, and etc.
    I use molasses in my coffee because coffee consumption inhibits iron absorption.
    For men, too much iron can have a really devastating effect.


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